Depression is crippling and pervasive and according to Professor Robert Sapolsky, it is the worst most damaging disease you can experience.
The major problem with understanding and treating depression is its complexity.
Depression doesn't exist in isolation, it can be triggered and affected by neurons, hormones, nutrition, a way of thinking and social interactions, and most of all the way we're genetically predisposed to deal with major stressors.
When I've experienced depression for the first time, I couldn't wrap my head around it. I couldn't accept that my resilience simply gave up on me. I've always thought there must be something else to it other than the stressful events in my life, and I started to look into other possible causes and triggers which had to nudge my mental state in the wrong direction.
With many of the factors, we could ask the question what came first. Is depression the cause of poor sleep or is poor sleep the symptom of depression? I assume it's most likely both.
However, my checklist is not to solve the chicken and egg problem, it is just an orientation tool to help you understand what may possibly cause and contribute to your depression.
I hope the checklist helps you in eliminating or discovering potential causes of depression like a vitamin deficiency or underactive thyroid or hint whether you're in a risk as depression can accompany some chronic illnesses or medication intake.
(for mobile version, click on the image to view large)
The list is not an exhaustive source, however, I hope it gives you an idea what to look for what to improve on and what to discuss with a health care professional.
Click here to download and print your checklist.
You may also like:
1. Why letting go of control feels like dying but can save your life
2. 10 things to avoid while recovering from depression [+ free printable worksheet]